What to expect
A New Agrarian Program (NAP) apprentice gains knowledge by working for and learning from their experienced mentor, but also through a variety of offerings through the program to complement their education.
This program is designed for the beginning agrarian who is seeking real-world experience in regenerative agriculture, and willing to commit to the hard work and long days it takes to gain that experience. Applicants must be authorized to work in the U.S. in order to apply.
Apprentices work full-time from March/April til November and take part in many of the activities necessary for the daily operation of the ranch or farm. Ideally, basic, repetitive tasks are balanced with new and increasingly challenging work to enable the development of higher-level skills and to further apprentice learning.
Apprentices attend an in-person group orientation in late March or early April to spend time with fellow apprentices and participate in various activities. Attendance at this event is mandatory.
1:1 Coordinator Check-ins
Each apprentice has a regional coordinator who performs monthly check-in calls and one site visit to ensure the apprentice is supported during their season.
Each apprentice submits two reports to NAP that are published in the New Agrarian Voices blog. The first is a one-page personal introduction, due the second week of their apprenticeship, and the second is a three-page final report, due at the end of the season.
NAP requires each apprentice to complete a provided skills checklist with their mentor three times during the season: at the beginning, middle, and end. This checklist is designed to start conversations between mentors and apprentices about learning goals for the season, and helps track progress.
Each season, NAP organizes at least one in-person educational opportunity in each region (Southwest or Northern Plains) to gather the cohort and learn about topics like low-stress stockmanship, soil and plant monitoring, meat processing, etc.
The New Agrarian Program (NAP) partners with topical experts to offer a series of monthly video calls designed to expose apprentices to topics ranging from soil health and land management to biological monitoring, financial management and business planning. Upon completion of the NAP apprenticeship program graduates will be given priority in applying for Holistic Management International training program scholarships.
Apprentices are encouraged to visit other ranches and farms near their mentor site for the opportunity to see different models and management styles. Apprentices may identify operations they are interested in visiting (typically NAP host operations, but not necessarily) and schedule one to two days visits.
The REGENERATE Conference
In November, apprentices attend the REGENERATE Conference with free registration and lodging provided. At the conference, apprentices will attend a wide variety of workshops and plenary presentations addressing land health, regenerative agriculture, food systems and other relevant topics. The conference also offers apprentices an opportunity to network and seek out their next career steps.
An apprenticeship is designed to be a hands-on, working and learning experience. The greatest benefit to apprentices is the opportunity to become fully immersed in the daily labor and operation of their host operation. Other compensation includes:
Apprentices can expect approximately 350 direct contact hours over an eight month period (or approximately 8 – 10 hours a week) with a person in a designated mentorship role. Some operations have multiple people offering mentorship.
Each apprentice is paid directly as a W-2 employee of their mentor site. Some sites pay hourly, while others offer a monthly stipend, and amounts vary due to varying state labor law requirements and other details of each mentor site’s compensation package.
Mentors provide apprentice housing on or near the ranch or farm, separate from mentor housing. Housing is private and includes adequate heating and other utilities, as well as cooking and bathing facilities. While there will usually be Internet access on host operations, it may or may not be directly accessible in the apprentice housing. Apprentices are expected to provide their own telephones and telephone service.
While some mentor sites provide food and/or meals, others do not. Check each site description for more details.
Apprentices are covered by workers’ compensation through their mentor/employer during the periods of their apprenticeships spent on the host operation. While most work-related injuries are covered, those that occur during off hours are not. Mentors will discuss details with apprentices as soon as possible after they arrive at the host operation.
Check out the recording of our latest “NAP 101” webinar that dives into the program details and describes each 2024 mentor site.
Our “Tips & Tricks” Webinar will share helpful advice in crafting your apprenticeship application.